BRISTOL, Tenn. – Nearing the end of the season, the King University men's volleyball team had a chance to avenge their lone Conference Carolinas loss this season, and inch closer to their first Conference Carolinas championship when they traveled to the University of Mount Olive on Friday night. The Tornado fell behind, and trailed 2-1 in the match before winning the final two sets, taking the match 3-2 and extending their winning streak to 15 matches.
FINAL SCORE: King 3, Mount Olive 2 (22-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 15-9)
LOCATION: Kornegay Arena; Mount Olive, N.C.
RECORDS: King 25-2, 14-1 Conference Carolinas; Mount Olive 15-8, 13-3 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Mount Olive held the advantage for nearly the entire first set, leading by as many as five at 14-9 following an 8-2 run.
- The Tornado came back to get within one numerous times down the stretch, but couldn't pull even as the Trojans took the set 25-22.
- King used a 5-0 run in the second set to turn a deficit into a 10-6 advantage. Jeff Sprayberry posted three kills and a solo block on the spurt.
- A block from Adrian Besson and Nick Drooker stretched the Tornado advantage to 24-18 with a block before Besson gave King the 25-19 victory with his eighth kill of the match.
- Mount Olive held the advantage throughout the third set and held off a late King rally to take the frame 25-22 and 2-1 lead in the match.
- King used a 5-0 run in the early going of the fourth set to take a 6-4 lead, capped by an ace from Eddie Moushikhian.
- Trailing 13-11, the Tornado scored three straight points, to gain the lead.
- Following a Trojan point, King gained a little separation with a 3-0, taking an 18-15 lead.
- The Tornado held the lead there, and took the set 25-23 on Jon Wheaton's fifth kill of the match.
- The King offense didn't slow down at the beginning of the fifth set, scoring the first three points. Moushikhian and Besson came up with a block and Sprayberry added a kill on the burst.
- The lead grew to 6-1 following a Besson solo stuff and the Tornado led 8-3 when the teams changed sides.
- King didn't let up as Sprayberry gave the Tornado a chance at match point with a kill, and a Trojan miscue gave King the 15-9 win and the 3-2 victory.
- Sprayberry led King with 27 kills and hit .438 and added eight digs in the match.
- Sean Luhmann followed with 14 kills, hitting .360.
- Moushikhian followed with 12 kills and eight digs while Besson was the final Tornado in double figures with 10 kills. Besson added five block assists and the one solo block.
- Drooker handed out 59 assists to go along with nine digs and four block assists.
- Jimmy Nuckolls led the defense with 13 digs.
FOR THE FOES
- Robert Polle posted 20 kills and seven digs to lead Mount Olive.
- Bret Rutledge and Alex Palmatier added 12 kills apiece and Brad Monaghan chipped in with 10 kills.
- Jeff Yasaolins handed out 54 assists and Josh Donahue accounted for 19 digs.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- King hit .345 in the match, their fourth highest total of the season, and their best in a five set match in 2017.
- Drooker's 59 assists ranks second in school history. Earlier this season he handed 64 assists in a win over Eastern Mennonite University.
- Sprayberry matched his season-high of 27 kills and came within two of his career-high of 29 kills.
- King travels to take on Barton College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Tornado lead the league with a record of 14-1 while Barton is in second at 14-2.
- Mount Olive hosts Lees-McRae College on Saturday afternoon.